FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2002
Contact: Matt Cleary
Phone: (317) 523-4087
HOUGHTON, Michigan -- Tim O誰eil won the Group N Class in the Lake Superior Rally this weekend in his AV Sport-prepared Subaru WRX over Ralph Kosmides by more than 6 minutes. Entering the weekend, O誰eil was only five points behind Kosmides in the Group N season championship and needed to win the event with Kosmides finishing no better than third to take the championship. O誰eil held up his end of the bargain, winning the class and finishing seventh overall, but Kosmides thwarted O誰eil痴 plans by taking second in Group N, locking up the championship.
"We were hoping to take the championship this weekend, but Ralph did exactly what he had to do to keep us from doing so," said O誰eil. "I have to congratulate him on a fine season. This was an excellent season for the Air Force Reserve team. We certainly exceeded our own expectations for the year by taking four wins and being so close to the championship despite not competing in several of the events this season. This win is a great way to finish the year and hopefully we can continue the momentum into next season when we move up into the Open Class."
The Lake Superior ProRally held onto its reputation as one of the most challenging events of the season with snow and cold weather providing plenty of frustration to the drivers of more than 80 highly competitive cars in the rally. The rally was staged on the challenging forestry and International Paper Company logging roads of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The mostly slippery, sometimes frozen, and sometimes very wet conditions caused many teams to experiment stage to stage with different set-ups.
Team O誰eil 2002 Season Results:
The SCCA ProRally Championship is a flat-out race over closed sections of rural roads by modified production automobiles, with each car racing against the clock rather than directly against each other. O誰eil Racing competed in the Group N Class for 2002 and will move up to the Open Class in 2003.
Tim O'Neil is a winner of five U.S. and North American Rally championships. Tim first got his hands dirty operating and repairing equipment for his family's logging business in Whitefield, New Hampshire. He began rallying in 1986 and formed Team O'Neil Motorsport in 1989 and was quickly competitive, winning six of the first eight SCCA National Pro Rally Championship Events. He then became the first American in years to compete in Finland's 1000 Lakes Rally, a World Rally Championship Event.
Between 1993 and 1997, Tim worked with a number of major automotive manufacturers to teach advanced driving techniques and introduce new products. In 1997, Tim opened the Team O'Neil Rally School and Car Control Center in Franconia, New Hampshire to teach rally and winter driving techniques. Tim leads every class and is supported by a group of instructors whose varied backgrounds serve to complement the learning experience.